William III, 1696-7
An Act to restraine the Number and ill Practice of Brokers and Stock-Jobbers. [Chapter XXXII. Rot. Parl. 8 & 9 Gul. III. p.11.nu.1.]

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History of Parliament Trust

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John Raithby (editor)

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1820

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285-287

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'William III, 1696-7: An Act to restraine the Number and ill Practice of Brokers and Stock-Jobbers. [Chapter XXXII. Rot. Parl. 8 & 9 Gul. III. p.11.nu.1.]', Statutes of the Realm: volume 7: 1695-1701 (1820), pp. 285-287. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=46880 Date accessed: 26 October 2014.


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From 1st May 1697, no Person to act as Broker in London or Westminster, or Bills of Mortality, without Licence of the Lord Mayor of London, &c.

Whereas for the Conveniency of Trade sworne Brokers have been anciently admitted and allowed of within the Citty of London and Liberties thereof for the making and concluding of Bargains and Contracts between Merchant and Merchant and other Tradesmen concerning their Goods Wares and Merchandizes and Moneys taken upp by Exchange and for negotiating Bills of Exchange between Merchant and Merchant And whereas diverse Brokers and Stock-Jobbers or pretended Brokers have lately sett upp and carried on most unjust Practices and Designes in selling & discounting of Talleys Bank Stock Bank Bills Shares and Interests in Joint Stocks and other Matters and Things and have and do unlawfully combined and confederated themselves together to raise or fall from time to time the Value of such Talleys Bank Stock and Bank Bills as may be most convenient for their owne private Interest & Advantage which is a very greate abuse of the said antient Trade and Imployment and is extreamly prejudicial to the publick Creditt of this Kingdome and to the Trade and Co[m]merce thereof and if not timely prevented may ruine the Creditt of the Nation and endanger the Government it selfe And whereas the Numbers of such Brokers and Stock-Jobbers are very much encreased within these few Yeares and doe daily multiply by reason they are not att present under such Regulations as are necessary to prevent the Mischeifs aforesaid which is a manifest Grievance to the People For remedy whereof and the prevention of the ill Practices of such Brokers and Stock-Jobbers and of the greate Inconveniences that may happen to this Nation thereby for the future be it enacted by the Kings most Excellent Majesty by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and the Co[m]mons in this present Parliament assembled and by Authority of the same That from and after the First Day of May One thousand six hundred ninety seven no Person or Persons whatsoever shall directly or indirectly use or exercise the Office Trade Mystery [Occupac[i]on (fn. 1) ] or Imployment of a Broker or act or deal as such within the Cities of London or Westminster Borough of Southwark or within the Limitts of the weekly Bills of Mortality in the contriving making or concluding Bargains and Contracts between Merchant & Merchants or between Merchants and Tradesmen or others concerning their Wares and Merchandizes to be bought and sold or contracted for or concerning Moneys to be taken upp by Exchange between such Merchant and Merchants & Tradesmen or concerning any Talleys or Orders Bills of Creditt or Ticketts payable att the Receipt of the Exchequer or att any of the publick Offices or concerning any the Bills or Notes payable by the Governor and Company of the Bank of England or their Successors or for or concerning any Part of the Capital or Joint Stock belonging or to belong to the said Governor and Company or their Successors or to any Members of the said Company or for or concerning any Part or Share of the Capital or Joint Stock belonging or to belong to any Company or Society that is or shall be incorporated by Act of Parliament or Letters Patents until such Person or Persons shall be first admitted licensed approved & allowed of by the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen of the said Citty of London for the time being upon such Certificate of their Ability Honesty and good Fame as hath been usual.

II. Broker on Admittance to take the Oath following.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That upon the Admittance of any Person or Persons to exercise the Trade and Employment of a Broker such Person or Persons respectively before hee or they shall use or exercise the said Trade or Employment by virtue of this Act shall severally take their Corporal Oath in the Forme or to the Effect following that is to say.

I. A. B. doe sincerely promise and sweare That I will truely and faithfully execute and performe the Office and Employment of a Broker betweene Party and Party in all things appertaining to the Duty of the said Office and Employment without Fraud or Collusion to the best of my Skill and Knowledge and according to the Tenour and Purport of the Act intituled An Act to restraine the Number and ill Practice of Brokers and Stock-Jobbers.
So help me God.

Lord Mayor, &c. to administer the Oath.; Broker in Three Months after Admittance to take the Oaths 1 W. & M. c. 8. subscribe the Association 7 & 8 W. III. c. 27. § 3. and enter into the Obligation following.

Which Oath the said Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen of the City of London are hereby impowered to administer and likewise every such Person and Persons within Three Months after such his or their Admittance as aforesaid shall take in his Majesties Court of Chancery or Kings Bench or Quarter Sessions of the County wherein hee lives the Oaths mentioned and appointed to be taken in and by one Act of the First Yeare of the Reigne of King William and Queen Mary intituled An Act for abrogating the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy and appointing other Oaths and shall also subscribe the Association appointed to be subscribed by an Act made in the Seventh Yeare of his present Majesties Reigne intituled An Act for the better Security of his Majesties Royal Person & Government and also every such Person & Persons att the Time of such their Admittance shall likewise enter into one Obligation to the Lord Mayor Citizens and Co[m]monalty of the City of London of the Penalty of Five hundred pounds with Condition there under written in the Forme and to the Effect following that is to say.

The Condition of this Obligation is such That whereas the above bounden A. B. is sworne & admitted a Broker pursuant to the Statute in that Behalfe lately made Now therefore if the said A. B. doe and shall well and truely use execute and performe the Office and Employment of a Broker between Party and Party without Fraud Covin or any corrupt or crafty Devices according to the Purport true Intent and Meaning of the said Statute in that Case lately made and provided then this Obligation to be void or else to remaine in full Force and Virtue.

III. Number of Brokers not to exceed 100.

Admittance Fees not to exceed 40s.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That such Person and Persons as shall from time to time be admitted sworne and appointed Brokers according to the true Intent and Meaning of this Act shall not att any one Time exceed the Number of One hundred and that every such Person and Persons att the Time of his and their Admittance to be Brokers as aforesaid the usual Fees and Payments of Admittance into the said Imployment Provided that such Fees and Payments doe not exceed the Su[m]m of Forty shillings.

IV. Brokers Names and Places of Abode to be affixed on the Royal Exchange, and in Guildhall, London.

And be itt further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That the said Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen for the Time being shall direct and order the Names of all such Brokers as shall be admitted by virtue of this Act and the respective Places of their Habitation to be fairely transcribed and publickly affixed on the Royal Exchange and in the Guild-hall in the City of London and in such other publick Places within the City as they shall think convenient.

V. Person acting as a Broker, if not admitted according to this Act,

Penalty £500; Persons knowingly employing them,; Penalty £50; Person not being a sworn Broker, acting in discounting Tallies, Exchequer Bills, &c,; Penalty £500, and Pillory.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That if any Person or Persons whatsoever shall directly or indirectly use or exercise the said Office Trade Mystery Occupation or Employment of a Broker or act or deal as a Broker from and after the said First Day of May One thousand six hundred ninety seven not being admitted sworne and approved of according to the true Intent and Meaning of this Act such Person & Persons for every such Offence shall forfeit the Su[m]m of Five hundred pounds over and above all other Forfeitures that hee or they shall any ways incurr by virtue of this Act and that if any Person or Persons from and after the First Day of May One thousand six hundred ninety seven shall knowingly make use of or employ any Person or Persons to act or deal for him or them as a Broker or Stock—Jobber not being admitted sworne or approved of as aforesaid such Person or Persons so offending shall forfeit the Su[m]m of Fifty pounds and that if any Person or Persons from and after the said First Day of May One thousand six hundred ninety seven not being a sworne Broker according to the true Intent and Meaning of this Act shall negotiate act and deal as a Broker in the discounting of Talleys Exchequer Bills or Bank Bills or Notes or in Stock-jobbing or selling of Bank Stock or any other Interest or Securities upon any Fund or Funds granted by Parliament such Person or Persons so offending shall forfeit the Su[m]m of Five hundred pounds and likewise being legally convicted thereof shall for such Offence stand in the Pillory in some publick Place or Places within the said City of London Three several Days for the Space of One Houre in the Morning of each of the said Three Days.

VI. Sworn Broker to keep a Register Book, and to enter Contracts, &c. within Three Days after made, &c.

Omitting to enter Contract, &c., Penalty£50.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That from and after the said First Day of May One thousand six hundred ninety seven every Person and Persons sworne and approved of to be a Broker according to the true Intent & Meaning of this Act shall respectively keep a Book or Register which shall be called the Brokers Book in which said Book hee and they shall fairely enter all Contracts Agreements and Bargaines that hee and they shall from time to time make and contract betweene any Person and Persons within Three Days after the making such Contract or Agreement together with the Parties Names Buyer and Seller to the Intent and Purpose that such Broker and Brokers shall from time to time produce such Book or Register when thereunto lawfully required and in case such Broker or Brokers shall omitt to enter any such Contract Bargaine or Agreement in such Book or Register hee or they shall forfeit the Su[m]m of Fifty Pounds for every such Omission.

VII. Taking more than 10s. per Cent. Brokage, Penalty £10.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That if any such Broker or Brokers from and after the said First Day of May One thousand six hundred ninety seven shall directly or indirectly receive or take any Su[m]m exceeding Ten shillings per Cents. for Brokage hee or they shall for every such Offence forfeit the Su[m]m of Ten pounds.

VIII. Broker after Admittance to carry about him and shew a Silver Medal of the King's Arms, &c. with the Broker's Name, &c.

Penalty 40s.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That for the better distinguishing of such Person and Persons as shall hereafter be admitted sworne and approved of to be a Broker according to the true Intent and Meaning hereof every such Broker and Brokers after his Admittance as aforesaid shall have and carry about him and them a Medal of Silver upon which shall be engraven or stampt his Majesties Coat of Arms and on the Reverse thereof the Arms of the said City of London together with the Name of such Broker which Silver Meddal such Broker and Brokers shall shew forth and produce att the concluding of every Bargaine Contract and Agreement by him made to the Parties concerned therein or to such of them as shall be then present upon paine to forfeit the Su[m]m of Forty shillings for every such Omission.

IX. Broker dealing for himself, &c. or making any Gain, over and above the Brokage allowed by this Act.

Penalty £200 and Incapacity.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That from and after the First Day of May One thousand six hundred ninety seven if any such Broker or Brokers so to be admitted as aforesaid shall directly or indirectly deal for him or themselves in the Exchange or Remittance of Moneys or shall buy any Talleys Orders Bills or Share or Interest in any Joint Stock to be assigned or transferred to his owne Use or buy any Goods Wares or Merchandizes to sell againe for his owne Benefitt or Advantage or shall make any Gain or Profitt in buying or selling any Goods over and above the Brokage allowed by this Act hee or they so offending shall forfeit the Su[m]m of Two hundred pounds and being convicted of [any (fn. 2) ] such Offence shall be for ever incapable to trade act or deal as a Broker for any Person or Persons whatsoever.

X. Policies, Contracts, &c. entered into, on which any Premium shall be given for Liberty to accept, &c. any Share in Joint Stock, Tallies, &c. void, and Premium repaid.

Except such Policies, &c. as are to be performed in Three Days.

And for the further preventing the Mischiefs and Inconveniences that doe daily arise to trade by the ill Practices of Brokers Stock Jobbers and others be it further enacted and declared by the Authority aforesaid That every Policy Contract Bargaine or Agreement made and entred into or to be made and entred into by any Person and Persons whatsoever and which by the Tenour thereof is to be performed after the said First Day of May One thousand six hundred ninety seven upon which any Premium already is or att any Time hereafter shall be given or paid for liberty to putt upon or to deliver receive accept or refuse any Share or Interest in any Joint Stock. Talleys Orders Exchequer Bills Exchequer Ticketts or Bank Bills whatsoever other than and except such Policies Contracts Bargaines or Agreements of the Nature aforesaid as are to ( (fn. 3) ) performed within the space of Three Days (to be accounted from the Time of making the same) is and shall be utterly null and void to all intents and purposes as if the same had never been made and every such Premium and Premiums shall be paid back and restored to such Person or Persons who did give or pay the same his Executors Administrators or Assignes.

XI.

Sworn Broker not making Discovery of other Persons acting as such, displaced and Incapacity.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That if any Premium shall be given or paid contrary to the true Intent and Meaning of this Act by any Broker or Stock Jobber or by any other Person whatsoever by or with the privity or knowledge of any sworne Broker admitted according to this Act or which shall afterwards come to the knowledge of such sworne Broker or if any Person or Persons shall act trade or deal as a Broker not duely admitted according to this Act and the same shall come to the like knowledge of any sworne Broker as aforesaid that then and in every such Case such sworne Broker shall forthwith discover the same to the end that such Person or Persons may be effc[i]ually prosecuted for his or their Offence and in case such sworne Broker shall not forthwith make such Discovery or shall purposely conceal such Offender upon due Proof thereof made against such sworne Broker before the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen of the City of London for the time being it shall and may be lawfull for the said Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen to displace and turne out such sworne Broker who shall be for ever after uncapable to use or exercise the Trade and Office of a Broker or to act or deal as such.

XII. Penalties and Forfeitures how recoverable.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That all Penalties and Forfeitures given or granted by virtue of this Act shall be recovered by Action of Debt Bill Plaint or Information in any of his Majesties Courts of Record att Westminster in which no Essoigne Priveledge Protection or Wager of Law shall be allowed and but one Imparlance the one Moiety whereof shall be to the Use of his Majesty his Heires and Successors and the other Moiety to the Use of him or them that shall sue for the same.

XIII. Continuance of Act.

Provided always That this Act shall continue from the said First Day of May One thousand six hundred ninety seven for the space of Three Yeares and from thence to the end of the next Session of Parliament and no longer.

XIV. Proviso for buying or selling Cattle, Corn, &c.

Provided always That no Person for buying or selling of Cattell Corne or any other Provisions or Coal shall be esteemed a Broker within the Meaning of this Act Any thing herein contained to the contrary notwithstanding.

XV. Sworn Brokers driving any Bargain for Tallies, &c. on Funds granted by Parliament, unless licensed by Treasury,

Penalty £500.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That no Broker or Brokers sworne and admitted by virtue of this Act from and after the First Day of May One thousand six hundred ninety seven until the end of the next Session of Parliament shall act or deal or drive any Bargaine or Contract to buy or sell for Money any Talleys or other Securities upon any Fund or Funds granted by Parliament unlesse hee or they shall be licensed and appointed so to doe by the Lords Co[m]missioners of his Majesties Treasury or any Three of them under the Penalty of Five hundred pounds to the Uses aforesaid and to be recovered in manner and forme aforesaid Any thing herein contained to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding.

Footnotes

1 interlined on the Roll.
2 interlined on the Roll.
3 be O.